Nature Nearby

Nature Nearby: Masked bandits suffer loss of territory

January 15, 2013

BY FRED SEITZ — In November and December, several Hyattsville residents noticed the increased presence and occasional demise of some of Hyattsville’s cutest and cleverest burglars, raccoons. The popular view of these often pudgy (8- to 30-pound) mammals as burglars comes from their [read more]

Nature Nearby: What lies beneath

November 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — The Northwest Branch of the Anacostia and the nearby tributaries in Magruder Park and Hyattsville suffer from the urban insults of runoff, trash, toxic pollutants and excessive sedimentation. Despite these abuses, there is an interesting display of life in both Branch and [read more]

Nature Nearby: Of worms and men

September 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — Fascinating for gardeners, fishermen, Aristotle, Darwin and Edgar Allan Poe, the earthworm, an unobtrusive invertebrate, is one of our most helpful partners in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, the term worm has been applied to everything from medieval dragons to intestinal [read more]

Nature Nearby: Breaking news! A tree fell in the forest

April 10, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — When weekend winds brought down a dead pine on top of Washington Gas’ new electronic gas line box last month, it definitely made a sound, much louder than that of one hand clapping. The fallen pine, near the Crittenden Street trailhead to Magruder Park, awakened some neighbors [read more]

Nature Nearby: Squab a la Pepco

February 8, 2012

BY FRED SEITZ — West Hyattsville Metro riders may want to note that their journey from station to street takes them beneath about a hundred of nature’s most revered and reviled avians. Perching on the nearby power lines is a longtime flock of rock doves, also known as pigeons. Taken for [read more]

Nature Nearby: Empty Nests and Feeder Raiders

December 11, 2011

BY FRED SEITZ — The recent big drop of leaves has revealed homes of many Hyattsville residents that we see and hear for much of the year, but often take for granted.  A single Norway maple near the tennis courts in Magruder Park has at least four nests (see above) that were hidden by foliage [read more]

Nature Nearby: Night of the hunter

October 11, 2011

BY FRED SEITZ — As dusk sets in, an aerial ballet begins in the sky over Magruder Park and the Northwest Branch.  Birds are retreating to their evening roosts and a nocturnal cast of flyers take to the air.  A few swallows skim along the grass in the park. Evening walkers along the bike path [read more]

Nature Nearby: Return of the Natives

July 10, 2011

BY FRED SEITZ — Since 2005, the Anacostia Watershed Society and more than 250 volunteer “weed warriors” have been working to remove invasive species of plants in Magruder Park and other nearby areas. Their efforts are paying off; coordinator Marc Imlay estimates that approximately 80 [read more]

Nature Nearby: Avian attention-getters in our city

May 10, 2011

BY FRED SEITZ — For the past four years, residents of Oglethorpe Street have enjoyed (for the most part) the company and child-rearing of a group of Yellow-crowned Night Herons. Considerably smaller than the Great Blue Herons who frequent the Northwest Branch, they are 25 inches long and weigh [read more]
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